By Noel Whelan

6th Aug, 2022 | 2:00pm

Pundit issues 'massive' Newcastle United-James Maddison claim amid £70m 'agreement'

Noel Whelan has backed Leicester to shut the door on a potential Newcastle move for James Maddison if they sell Wesley Fofana to Chelsea.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 25-year-old is too important to the Foxes’ fortunes during a tough period.

Football Insider earlier this week (4 August) that Leicester have told Newcastle that Maddison is not for sale after knocking back bids of £40million and £50million.

It is understood that the 2021 FA Cup winners must sell senior stars in order to fund any potential transfer moves of their own.

The Foxes are yet to make a summer signing – the only Premier League side not to add reinforcements in the main window.

Leicester have reportedly also turned down a bid of £60million from Chelsea for Fofana – with The Times claiming (5 August) that an improved £70million offer is now under consideration.

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When asked if a potential exit for Fofana would close the door on Maddison’s possible exit, Whelan told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “Yeah, I think so.

“You usually only see teams like Leicester losing one big player per summer. I think it’s imperative to keep the nucleus together.

“We talked about how important Maddison is to Leicester. You don’t want to lose too many players in a short space of time.

“It’d be hard to find replacements anyway, but with less than a month of the window left – it would just be a massive rush for Brendan Rodgers.

“If Fofana goes and there is an agreement, I think Leicester have then got the luxury of just pricing Newcastle out of a move for Maddison.”

In other news, ex-manager tells Newcastle to sign “£40m” striker amid “incredible” Callum Wilson claim.